Updated: Nov 16, 2020
Tempering chocolate is for everyone! Chef Jacob joins us to teach us how to temper. For tips and to bake-along live, just follow along with the video.
1.5 - 2 lbs chocolate*
Your favorite toppings! Cereal, dried fruit, toasted nuts, potato chips, etc. get creative!
Ice water bath or cold water bath
*A note on selecting chocolate: I highly recommend you watch Jacob's entire explanation on chocolate selection! You're looking for a high cocoa butter content (meaning it's at least one of the first three ingredients). Couvertures and callets come with a high cocoa butter content and are made to melted. Go for those if you can find them! See the whole clip at the ___ mark.
No matter what I think it's worth watch the entire video and tempering along! Jacob has great tips along the way. He explains the process at the 12:57 mark. I have his tips and process listed below, too.
We recorded on a very hot day! That can present a bunch of challenges. It's always best to temper on a temperate day (ha!) but you can go for it no matter what.
Want to hear the benefits of tempered chocolate? Take a listen at the 15:28 mark.
Why doesn't Jacob use a thermometer? Hear about it at the 20:00 mark.
This is the "ice bath" method. Jacob goes through other tempering techniques at the 21:09 mark.
Does your chocolate have speckles or not crack? Hear about how chocolate that isn't in temper behaves at the 45:40 mark. It isn't bad! Just not tempered!
Want to hear about the different types of chocolate (dark, milk, white, and ruby?) tune in at the 47:00 mark!
If you're coming with baking bars, chop them up into smaller, equal pieces. If you've brought couvertures, callets, or chips, you can use them as is. You're looking for all pieces to melt together and melt evenly.
Put the chocolate pieces into a heat-proof bowl above the simmering water. You want to gently melt the chocolate so it doesn't seize (you also want to avoid any water getting into your melted chocolate! That, too, will cause it to seize).
Using a circled cloth towel as a base on the countertop (check out 31:10!) continue stirring your melted chocolate.
Stir your melted chocolate for about a minute to evenly cool it down. Leave your pot of water on the stove top (with the burner off) because you will gently reheat your chocolate a second time.
As you stir your chocolate you'll notice that chocolate may be setting on the sides of your bowl -- that is because the sides are cooler than the center of your chocolate. Make sure you mix those setting bits back into your melted chocolate.
At this time set your bowl over your ice bath and continue stirring. Be careful to not let any of the water into your chocolate. Stir vigorously.
You are looking for the chocolate to leave a ribbon. Your chocolate will thicken as you stir. (You don't want to go so far where your spatula can stand up in your chocolate!)
When your melted chocolate can no longer pull the setting chocolate on the sides, remove the bowl from the ice bath. For a visual, check out 37:45.
If you test the chocolate with the back of your pinky finger, it should feel cold.
Your chocolate is technically tempered now! But if wouldn't pour incredibly well, and this is where the reheating comes into play.
Put your melted chocolate bowl back over the hot water. stirring just until it loosens up. You're looking for the ribbons on top to be a little bit less thick.
Next you can do a temper test. You're going to drizzle a very thin line of chocolate onto a knife or off-set (!!) and put it in the coolest place in your kitchen. If the chocolate is in temper it will set in a matter of minutes. You can see Jacob's explanation at the 44:05 mark,
If your chocolate sets, spread the rest of your tempered chocolate onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and generously sprinkle your toppings (you can see our handiwork at the 55:05 mark). I recommend pressing your toppings into the chocolate a little bit to make the bark more cohesive and ensure your toppings don't just fall off once your bark is set.
Now, no matter if your chocolate has set or not, don't fret! Jacob's magic method? Put your chocolate bark into the fridge to set. It was very hot in my kitchen the day we were doing this demo so ours went into the fridge too!
If your chocolate is set feel free to leave it out on the counter! Tempered chocolate will set within minutes.
You can see the snap of our tempered dark chocolate at the very end of the video.
No matter if your chocolate tempered, enjoy eating your delicious bark! And keep practicing. I know I'm a lot more confident in my tempering skills!